George Leekens hired to coach Hungary’s national team

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) The Hungarian soccer federation says George Leekens has been hired to coach the national team.

The 68-year-old former Bruge defender has had a long coaching career, including two stints leading Belgium. He resigned as Algeria coach in January after the team’s early exit from the African Cup of Nations.

The federation says Leekens will assume his post after Hungary’s two November friendly matches, where the team will be led by interim coach Zoltan Szelesi. Former coach Bernd Storck left the job two weeks ago.

Hungary reached the European Championship last year for the first time since 1972 but last qualified for the World Cup in 1986.

Soccer is a top priority for Prime Minister Viktor Orban, founder of the Ferenc Puskas Football Academy.